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REPORT: State of Asian CxO Survey 2013

T.C. Seow | Oct. 16, 2013
Rapid changes notwithstanding, the Asian CIO is still expected to be malleable and flexible enough to be in the driver's seat to champion the use of IT in his or her organisation.

Business intelligence, and that includes business analytics and the tidal wave of Big Data, is still one of the top five priorities. Clearly, this area is likely to see a lot of changes and challenges are organisations grapple with exponential data growths, and new thinking to derive deeper knowledge out of the whole data deluge. It is an area that requires a new kind of skill sets, particularly in the area of statistical analysis and modelling.

According to a recent survey commissioned by storage solutions vendor EMC in Hong Kong, more than one third of Hong Kong enterprises do not have plans to implement Big Data technology despite their recognising its benefits. The company conducted a poll in July with 133 registered participants of Hong Kong's EMC Forum. The poll results indicate 83 percent of IT and business executives agree that big data will lead to better decision-making. Many also recognise that big data is the key to becoming industry winners (45 percent) and achieving competitive advantage (31 percent), while 51 percent agree that the technology helps protect their businesses by identifying and preventing cyber attacks.

Therein lies the dilemma: vigorous statistical analyses in the form of business analytics is a goal many organisations are aiming to achieve but success will depend largely on finding the right skills to unravel the statistical morass piling up in data silos.

How are we doing?
How busy have the Asian CIOs been so far this year? If Table 3 is any indication, the picture should be quite clear. CIOs are still very much involved in planning and strategising for their organisations. Perhaps they are doing this more than before, as they are required to deal with not just IT-related issues but also those that span across the entire company. In fact, spending time interacting with other senior executives and business counterparts has become one of the top five priorities. This is because of their facing pressure from other non-IT departments who probably are circumnavigating the IT department to have things done, or worse, implementing their own IT solutions without the prior knowledge of the CIO office.

This is entirely possible. With the commoditisation of IT and the ease of procuring cloud services, some departments are likely to take their own route to rapidly adopt usable tools without subjecting to cumbersome approval procedures done in the conventional IT procurement process.

Table 3

Table 4

Nevertheless, CIOs do call the shots, as can be seen in Table 4. Almost 70 percent of respondents claim they belong to their executive teams. While they may be in positions of power, perhaps they should be spending more time not just communicating and exchanging ideas with their peers from various business units but also to close ranks with their superiors too.


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